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formula experiece
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lenthomasphoto



Joined: 23 May 2014
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:16 am    Post subject: formula experiece Reply with quote

Can you learn to windsurf on a starboard formula experience board?
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1442

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes - But........

A dedicated learner can learn on anything, but the average guy/gal will learn much, much faster with less frustration on the "right" equipment.

While a formula board is stable, there is little floatation in the nose so tacking is really hard for a beginner unless you weigh less than a 120 lbs. If you stand on the nose near the mast, it will sink.

Formula slogs like a dog, which is what will happen 100% of the time while learning. It will go upwind slowly, but since the board is so short, there is no glide and it is tricky to stay upwind. Also, the long fin makes it undesirable in shallow water for beginners.

Gybing is somewhat easy because of the wide board.

I believe the formula experience is more durable than regular formula boards, which can be an advantage since dropping the mast on the nose of the board is pretty common. Almost every experienced formula sailor has dings on the nose of their boards.

The formula experience is great for an intermediate sailor looking for more planing time with bigger sails (8.5 and up), but not for beginners - IMO.
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MrFish



Joined: 04 Sep 2009
Posts: 233

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FW boards are great for learning on.

Far better than beginner boards, because they will actually plane when you are ready.
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bred2shred



Joined: 02 May 2000
Posts: 637
Location: Jersey Shore

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrFish wrote:
FW boards are great for learning on.

Far better than beginner boards, because they will actually plane when you are ready.


If they survive that long...
The problem with using a true formula board for learning is that they are extremely fragile in the hands of a beginner. One good catapult and the nose will be in pieces. Crawling around on the deck with your harness hook will dent or puncture the deck. The fin is much too deep for learning beach starting and is also fragile so will be destroyed the first time you drive it up onto the beach. They have no centerboard and a very short water line, so when you're not planning (which is a given for a beginner) they will be slow and difficult to keep upwind. The foot straps are too far back and too far outboard for learning foot strap techniques. There are much better boards than a Formula board for a beginner.

sm
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MrFish



Joined: 04 Sep 2009
Posts: 233

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Disagree strongly.

Yeah, obviously you don't go out and buy a brand new race ready FW and use it as a beginner board, you get a beat up old one for $300-500 .

Other then that, I've seen tons of beginners learn on them much faster than on most anything else, and they still have something useful when they have progressed instead of a heavy lump of beginner board they will never use again.

Tacking an FW isn't hard, jibing is easy, and you just translate that skill down to other smaller shortboards progressively, you can use a small fin for beachstarts (which is a skill that is super easy anyway) , front footstrap is easy, use the chicken strap to begin for the rear.

The main issues are that it's wide, it does go upwind reasonably well non planning, and you can plane on it far earlier than on anything else -- which is the feeling that gets people in most places hooked

There's no downside.

(edit> unless you're a school, whose money is made by pounding out beginners who never progress, then one of those 300 pound plastic Hi Fly's is the best thing since sliced bread-they are indestructible)
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beaglebuddy



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 673

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It could work ok but you had better figure a way to pad the front of your mast because one good catapult and say goodbye to the front of the board
Knots in the uphaul line will also poke nice holes into the deck.
You would also obviously need to get a small fin.
My suggestion is any old SUP, just get a ding repair guy to hack a mast track into it for $100 and you will also have a useful SUP for when there is no wind.
A SUP will schlog better, it will glide a bit before transitioning to a slow plane, the tail rocker will not allow a fast plane. They are reasonably durable and have a padded deck. It's what I learned on.
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MrFish



Joined: 04 Sep 2009
Posts: 233

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A standup paddle board, if it's a wide one, is an OK option also for learning, and likewise is something you can continue to use later, but the OP was asking about Formula Experience boards.
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beaglebuddy



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 673

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well two problems, formula boards are made to be lightweight and are therefore quite fragile, and a small fin will be needed and small tuttle box fins aren't too common.
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MrFish



Joined: 04 Sep 2009
Posts: 233

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beaglebuddy wrote:
Well two problems, formula boards are made to be lightweight and are therefore quite fragile, and a small fin will be needed and small tuttle box fins aren't too common.


Small tuttle fins aren't too common?

LOL

Oh yeah, that's why I love this place...the expertise is off the charts.
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beaglebuddy



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 673

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Common, used, cheap I was implying Most of the ones I come across are quite long. But it depends what the board comes with ,maybe it's short enough.
I would suppose it could cost $100 for a new fin.
The Op asks if you could learn on a Formula Experience?
My answer would be yes but; You might smash the nose off the board and snap the fin box out of the board.
Also sailing that Formula board to it's designed usage is an expert technique.
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